Beware of the bellow from the mellow fellow
In the one-and-a-half years he has been in office, President Barrow has come out as a leader who does nothing or at the least very little and who says nothing or at the least very little. He has a big muscle but he has not flexed it except on the one occasion when he unexpectedly removed the Interior Minister, who it is now becoming clear has not read the American author, Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power, perhaps the one book he should have read. Or may be not even the whole book, just Law No. 1: NEVER OUTSHINE THE MASTER.
On Friday afternoon while his cabinet colleagues were looking forward to a restful weekend following a turbulent week, he swung his axe, apparently catching many off guard. But many are asking what prompted the sackings and redeployments. Does it mean the President is happy with those cabinet ministers left in their positions particularly with regard to the scandals and crises in the areas of security and the environment? Perhaps someone should remind the President and his Secretary General that in this day and age, when you are compositing something like a cabinet of state ministers, you use a calculus based on EQF (ethnic quota factor). You select the best and the brightest and by employing the EQF you ensure that young people who comprise 75 per cent of the population; females who make up more than half of the population; under-represented regions like the Kombos; ethnic minorities and other demographics are represented. Has President Barrow’s Friday reshuffle offered a new reset? We do not think so? Rewind and press play again.
Litter here, litter there, litter everywhere
They say you campaign in poetry and govern in prose. In writing, poetry is generally meant to be ‘beautiful’, witty, bewildering and attractive. It is like the case of the two lovers. During courtship, it is all about the idyllic romance and being all lovey-dovey. But after a few months of marriage, reality sinks in. Are we witnessing the same with our new local governments? A few weeks after they took office, many things have reverted to the old bad ways. The rains are here and the gutters have not been dug to remove the deposited sand and refuse of all kinds. On Wednesday, a few millimetres of rain fell and the roads were all flooded and stagnant water pooled everywhere. Soon millions of mosquitoes will be spawned and morbidity and mortality numbers, especially among children and pregnant women, will spike to the top of the charts. And everywhere you go, there are growing piles of garbage. In early June newspapers reported the construction of a D23 million new complex office at the Kanifing Municipal Council. One wonders is that really the priority when the gutters cannot be cleaned and garbage from the highways and town streets removed regularly?
World Cup and Gambian football
Billions of people around the world are captivated by the spectacle of the football World Cup being played in Russia. Everyday, a million plus Gambians are glued to their television sets to watch sets of eleven modern day gladiators battle for fame and glory for themselves and for their countries. Including Senegal. Our most immediate neighbours. They have been to the World Cup TWICE! We have never been there. In fact we have never even made it to the Africa Cup of Nations. The question is WHY? Even politically unstable and resource poorer Guinea Bissau went to the latter. Looking even at the top leagues in Europe, there is almost no Gambian doing well there. Senegal has 7 in the British Premier League, Gambia has 0; Senegal has 5 in La Ligue, Gambia has 0 (Manneh. Who?); Senegal has 11 in Serie A, 18 in Ligue 1, 21 in the Belgium First Division A when The Gambia has virtually players of no great import that you can list on the fingers of one hand! What is the problem, for obviously there is a BIG problem! Let us start a national debate on this. Gambian football is obviously in a sick state. We must admit that and cure it if we ever want to be competitive as a footballing nation and play in that AFCON and World Cup. Let footballers run football like lawyers run the judiciary and doctors run EFSTH.